Chinese Recycler

Oops. When I started this post I saw my previous one of Fawn Lake that I hadn’t finished. Well, in the meantime, Topaz Labs released version 5 of Topaz Adjust Plugin for Photoshop Elements…with that release they had ad 30% special discount for the new release (it may still be valid for those of you who use Photoshop or Photoshop Elements). I took advantage of the discount, got the plugin, then got all excited about how it made adjustments to my photos so I could use them as a foundation for my paintings. I selected and made adjustments to what I think are our best photos from China.

This is one of my favorites. While walking through an open market in Guangzhou, this man passed by hauling what looks like recycle material. I was able to get a pretty good picture. I used that picture as a reference of the painting below. This one went really quickly. I started by using the AutoPaint feature In Corel Painter 11, using Jeremy Sutton’s MishMashScrumble brush to create an underpainting. I then used RealBristle Round Blender brush, reduced the opacity to about 35% and brushed in some general color detail on a separate layer. I followed that with the Real Oils Smeary Brush from the RealBristle set, kicked up the feature so I would get some pretty good brush stroked and added some detail. Finally I touched up the background with Jeremy’s MishMashScrumble brush again to cleanup the edges of the cart and man.

I think with some texture and glazing this will be done. All in all it took about eight hours so far.


2006 Guangzhu88 BGBlend 3 outputweb

Fawn Lake Sunrise Style

I think I have a pretty good start to my latest painting. A couple of years ago I took the picture just off Cole Rd. south of Shelton, WA as the sun was rising over the autumn foliage. I thought it lent itself well to an impressionist style of painting.


The first image is the comparison between the photo and the initial underpainting.

Fawn Lake Underpainting Compare

This second is the basic style and moderate details

FawnLake Detail 05 Web

I want to add more color, contrast and texture. Stay tuned.

Mt. St. Helen’s

I finally got around to finishing this one. This one was interesting in that there were a number of different textures that required different brushes; the stump bark, the rocks, the path, the mountain and the fir trees. Fay Sirkis’ Digital Magic Brushes was my “go to” brush from the trees. The Smeary Palette Knife that ships with Painter 11 was ideal for the mountain and the rocks. Karen Sperling’s Paint Grass brush from the Trees n Branches collection was ideal for the grass. Karen Sperling Old Rusty Paint brush from the Mountains and Rocks collection was what did the trick for the stump detail. I finished it off with a canvas texture.

The reference image was a photo I took while visiting the Ape Caves on the south side of Mt. St. Helen’s during the summer.

Mt. St. Helen's

Streets of Heidelberg

This is a digital painting of the streets in Heidelberg, Germany just below the castle in the historic district. I applyied the techniques I learned from John Derry’s course…Transforming a Photo into a Painting with Photoshop.

The techniques described essentially translate the “vocabulary of photography” to the “vocabulary of painters”. I used the Topaz Adjust for Photoshop Elements to prepare the image. I used Jeremy Sutton’s Oil Cloner and the RealBristle Tapered Round brushes.

StreetsOfHeidleberg CobblestoneDetail 03

Spring Blossoms – Finished

This is the final rendering of Spring Blossoms. I like the pastel feel in Painter. I had Katie paint some of this. She asked what medium it was. I told her it was pastel. She said she normally didn’t like pastel because it was messy…but digital pastel was cool.

Spring Blossoms

This is the next exercise from Beyond Digital Photography. It is pastel on charcoal paper. The source photo is one I took in late May at L&I during lunch. The grounds have some trees that produce these wonderful blossoms. Below is the source photo.

The canvas for the project was setup with a light yellow (manila) colored paper then charcoal paper texture was added. I blocked in the background with a large square pastel brush then blocked in the focus blossoms with a smaller square pastel brush.

WA ST Labor & Industries HQ – Chalk and Ink

This is my example of the Hand Rendered technique described in Beyond Digital Photography. I used the Square Chalk at 50% opacity for the color. Then I used the wooodcut effect to create the ink lines. I then added the Glass Distortion effect to thin out the ink lines. Finally I added the basic paper canvas texture (paper).

Abandoned Barn

I got myself a couple of Painter books with an Amazon gift card the family got me for Father’s Day. This piece is an exercise from one of the books, “Beyond Digital Photography”. It essentially uses Painter’s auto-paint feature to paint three different layers; a coarse underpainting, a medium underpainting and a detailed underpainting. I use the Acrylic Captured Bristle brush. On each layer the length of the stroke of the auto-painting is reduced by 50%. A layer mask is then created for the medium and fine layers. Painting black on the layer masks allows the coarse layer below to show through where you paint. I finished the painting by adding canvas texture and brush texture (Impasto Varnish Brush).

Using the auto-paint feature makes quick work of the painting. Painting on separate layers and using the layer mask gives pretty good flexibility.